A Sardis secondary football star will make the next-level leap in Ontario next fall.
Falcons defensive back Davies Mitchell has committed to the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, a U-Sports program playing in the Ontario University Association conference.
Mitchell, who came up in the Chilliwack Giants program before playing at Sardis, was near the top of Wilfrid Laurier’s list when the coaching staff started making recruiting calls.
“The coach said he was really excited to talk to me, and everything he said about the school on and off the field matched with what I wanted perfectly,” said the teenager who will be studying to become a veterinarian.
Wilfrid Laurier is based in Kitchener, Ontario and the football program has a long history of success. The Golden Hawks have won two Vanier Cup championships (1991 and 2005) and 12 Ontario titles.
Many Wilfrid Laurier alums have gone on to careers in the Canadian Football League.
One of their biggest football rivals is located right across the street and Mitchell has heard that games between Wilfrid Laurier and the Waterloo Warriors are major events. He likes that there are several well-known football programs (Carleton/Windsor/Western/Guelph/Queen’s/York/Concordia/McGill/McMaster/Ottawa/Toronto in the region.
“If I went to UBC, the next closest school is Calgary or Edmonton and then you’re travelling to Manitoba and Saskatchewan for games,” he said. “There’s not a lot of time for all that travelling when you have school work to take care of.”
Mitchell is slightly undersized for a U-Sports defensive back, standing five-foot-eleven when the average height is six-foot-two.
But he is a technically sound player with a high football IQ.
“The coach said he liked my ability to figure out what’s going on, what I need to do and how I need to do it and do it all without missing a beat,” Mitchell said. “I have a height disadvantage, but I hope the skills that I do have help me overcome that.”
He knows he’ll face a steep learning curve at Wilfrid Laurier. While his goal is to make the Golden Hawks travel roster and be involved on game days, Mitchell expects playing time to be limited as he gets his feet wet.
He’s willing to be patient.
“Most rookies don’t play much in the first year, and I’m looking forward to getting that development time and getting used to the next level,” Mitchell said. “I am hoping to be on the game day rosters so that if we’re up big or down big they put in the second and third stringers.
“I will gladly take any opportunity to develop my skills.”
Sukh Parmar, the first-year head coach at Sardis secondary, knows Mitchell well from his time as the Falcons defensive coordinator and has no doubt he’ll succeed.
“Davies has played for a long time, he is a committed kid and he does have a very high football IQ,” Parmar said. “We are super proud of him, and we’re happy kids are using football as a vehicle to pursue academics. Davies is the second player from the Falcons to do this, along with Nick Butler (Queen’s), and that’s a good start for a program that is only in its third year.”
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